Court: LA Police Department policy for impounding cars is OK

Dec 27, 2014 11:53 AM by News Staff

LOS ANGELES (AP) - A state court has determined a Los Angeles Police Department policy that makes it easier for unlicensed drivers to keep their cars instead of having them impounded after police stops is lawful and can remain in place.

California's 2nd District Court of Appeal ruling issued Friday found that the policy is within the police chief's discretion.

LAPD Chief Charlie Beck issued the directive, which went into effect in 2012, that allows some unlicensed drivers who are stopped to produce a vehicle's registration and proof of insurance to avoid having their cars impounded for 30 days.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge, however, sided with the police union and struck down the policy in August 2013, agreeing that it violated the state's vehicle code.

The policy has been supported by immigrant rights groups and the city's former mayor, who said the old impound policy was unfair to immigrants who cannot obtain a driver's license.

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